I see a lot of golf clubs and seldom do I react like I did when the Maruman Shuttle i4000X 3-Wood arrived. This club is quite a sight to behold.
Would the performance of the club match its aesthetics?
Maruman is a Japanese golf company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan which dates back to 1950. They have two primary offerings, golf equipment and health related products. The golf division makes a complete line of men’s and women’s golf clubs, golf bags, golf shoes, golf gloves and travel bags.
And now on to the Shuttle i4000X Fairway…
Shuttle i4000X Fairway Wood Design
The first major design point about the shuttle i4000X is the size. The 3-wood is the largest on the market at 230 cubic centimeters.
Despite the size, the club is very light weight (295g) with a 50 gram shaft (standard steel shafts weigh about 2x as much). Lighter weight means players may be able to generate more club head speed. More speed equals more yards.
The Shuttle introduces “Super Maraging Steel” and no, the steel doesn’t make you see tropical beverages when you are roaming through the desert dying of thirst. The maraging steel is very tough in the center of the club face, with thinner steel on the heel and toe. This produces higher launch, faster ball speed and allows for a larger head size.
Inside the head are seven “power ribs” which add stability to the crown and sole and distribute weight to the top and bottom, giving it a better center of gravity.
Looks And Feel
The pictures of this club tell the story on the looks end of things. This baby is a beauty. Despite the larger head, the club still has a nicely shaped, classic look when standing over it. The club is not busy at address and focus on the ball and club path is easy.
The club is finished in a deep black with some nice detailing and artwork which accentuates the back of the head. I like how the club face is black as well. Very rock & roll.
On the feel end of it, the club takes some getting used to primarily because of how light weight the shaft is. Despite the hard maraging steel in the face, I can sense where the ball is hitting on the club face easily. The feedback level on the club is nice.
As far as auditory feedback goes, the sound the club makes is right up there with the aesthetics. The club makes a nice pinging sound which isn’t obnoxious. Center hits sound really great.
The Shuttle has a fairly standard but nicely made head cover which works perfectly. The head cover is sharp looking as well. The size of the club head made it impossible to use some after market head covers though, for those who like to use them.
On The Course
At first the i4000X was a bit of a shocker on the course for me I’ll admit. The light weight combined with the shaft caused me some control issues. Despite being a stiff shaft it still felt a bit on the weak side. This is common in Japanese clubs, the shafts being a bit weaker. I had to slow my swing down a bit and not swing quite as hard as with my old 3-wood, similar adjustments to those I had to make with my ultralight driver. Once I had the feel of it, the club performed very well.
The only situations I find the club to be weak are those when the ball is in the rough. Yes, most of the time hitting any 3-wood out of the rough if not easy, but I do it quite a bit with good results if the lie is just good enough. The wide face and large sole of this club make hitting out of the rough a little tougher. Not a deal breaker though.
The Shuttle i4000X is a beautiful golf club with wonderful feedback and feel. The craftsmanship is fabulous. The quality materials, design and workmanship come at a price of $220 retail USD.
The light weight and low profile of the head can help a player generate a few more miles per hour of club head speed and definitely a few more yards. If you are going to pony up the cash for one of these babies, be sure to test out all the shaft options and make sure you find a good match for your swing.